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LATIN AMERICA | 24-11-2021 15:38

Chile’s leftist contender adds key endorsement ahead of run-off

Chilean presidential contender Gabriel Boric added a main endorsement to his campaign ahead of the December 19 run-off after Senator Yasna Provoste, who came out fifth in Sunday’s first round, threw her support behind him. 

Chilean presidential contender Gabriel Boric added a main endorsement to his campaign ahead of the December 19 run-off after Senator Yasna Provoste, who came out fifth in Sunday’s first round, threw her support behind the centre-left coalition representative. 

“We don’t have any other option than to vote for Gabriel. Anything else just favours the far right,” Provoste said in televised comments on Tuesday. 

Provoste’s Nuevo Pacto Social coalition obtained almost 12 percent of votes on Sunday, behind conservative frontrunner José Antonio Kast, with 28 percent of votes, and Boric, with 26 percent. Boric, who led a coalition of left wing groups including the Communist Party, will compete with Kast in the run-off, and both are trying to obtain the endorsements of the other candidates.

While Provoste’s support was expected given their ideological closeness, the endorsement shows that Boric is moving quickly to try to broaden his coalition ahead of the deciding vote. Polls show him neck-to-neck with Kast less than a month before the election.

In any case, whoever wins Chile’s election will face a fragmented Congress that will make passing reforms more difficult and any radical bill, unlikely. For the first time since the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, right-wing parties will control half of the Senate.

In Sunday’s election, Kast’s Republican Party and the People’s Party won seats for the first time in the legislature, reducing the weight of the traditional coalitions that ruled Chile for the past three decades.

 

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